What drives the playing human?
Dressing up as a Viking for the weekend or racing through mud pools: some people lose themselves in these games while others find it a curious way of passing time. In Homo Ludens you will meet these dare devils, free spirits and hobbyists. What drives the playing human?
Prospektor produced this short documentary by Sanne Rovers and Lara Aerts, who have been sharing our office for years now. They came up with the idea over a coffee break, we further developed the idea together at our kitchen table. Lara's vigorous research and Sanne's power to observe have made Homo Ludens into a beautiful, thrilling film.
Children can play all day long: building huts, mummy’s-and-daddy’s-play, or street soccer. But as one ages, more obligations arise and there is less time to play. Moreover, is playing not a kids' thing?
There are also adults who - still or again - play. They enter the world of games, where it can get deadly serious but at the same time, this world is make-believe. They build miniature planes, go swimming in a mermaid costume, play soccer, race around in jeeps or lose themselves in Live Action Role Play. Some play to win, while others are in it for the adrenaline rush. For some the game is a social occasion, while others see it as an opportunity to retreat. But what seems to apply to all players, is that gaming is a way for them to temporarily escape daily life.
Yet, the playing human is often viewed as a deviant: because, honestly isn't it a bit silly, a grown man in a knight's outfit? Alternatively, the gamers are perceived as being reckless, macho or monomaniacal. So where is the boundary between generally accepted games and games that raise eyebrows?
The observational film Homo Ludens takes the viewer on a journey into the world of different players. While each game is expressed differently, the playing human, in his search for freedom, actually engages in one universal game.
Go Short Audience Award 2018 - Go Short International Short Film Festival Nijmegen